â€œBequeath us to no earthly shore until Is answered in the vortex of our grave The sealâ€™s wide spindrift gaze towards paradise.â€ â€”Hart Crane, â€œVoyagesâ€
â€œIf a lion could talk, we couldnâ€™t understand itâ€ â€”Ludwig Wittgenstein
Under the ocean that stretches out wordlessly past the long edge of the last human shore, there are deep windows the waves haven't opened, where night is reflected through decades of glass. There is the nursery, there is the nanny, there are my fatherâ€™s unreachable eyes turned towards the window. Is the child uneasy? His is the death that is circling the stars.
In the deep room where candles burn soundlessly and peace pours at last through the cells of our bodies, three of us are watching, one of us is staring with the wide gaze of a wild, wave-fed seal. Incense and sage speak in smoke loud as waves, and crickets sing sand towards the edge of the hourglass. We wait outside time, while night collects courage around us. The vigil is wordless. And you
watch the longest, move the farthest, besieged by your breath, pulling into your body. You stare towards your death, head arched on the pillow, your left fingers curled. Your mouth sucking gently, unmoved by these hours and their vigil of salt spray, you show us how far you are going, and how long the long minutes are, while spiralling night watches over the room and takes you, until you watch us in turn.
Lions speak their own language. You are still breathing. Here is release. Here is your pillow, cool like a handkerchief pressed in a pocket. Here is your white tousled long growing hair. Here is a kiss on your temple to hold you safe through your solitudeâ€™s long steady war; here, you can go. We will stay with you, keeping the silence we all came here for.
Night, take his left hand, turning the pages. Spin with the windows and doors that he mended. Spin with his answers, patient, impatient. Spin with his dry independence, his arms warmed by the needs of his family, his hands flying under the wide, carved gold ring, and the pages flying so his thought could fly. His breath slows, lending its edges out to the night.
Here is his open mouth. Silence is here like one more new question that he will not answer. A leaf is his temple. The dark is the prayer. He has given his body; his hand lies above the sheets in a symbol of wholeness, a curve of thumb and forefinger, ringed with wide gold, and the instant that empties his breath is a flame faced with a sudden cathedral's new stone.